Author Affiliations: Department of Pediatrics, UZ Brussel, Brussels, Belgium (De Greef E, Hauser B, Devreker T, Veereman-Wauters G, Vandenplas Y)
Corresponding Author: Yvan Vandenplas, MD, PhD, Department of Pediatrics, UZ Brussel, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium (Tel: 02 477 57 81; Fax: 02 477 57 83; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Background: Cow's milk protein allergy (CMPA) is frequently suspected in infants with a variety of symptoms. A thorough history and careful clinical examination are necessary to exclude other underlying diseases and to evaluate the severity of the suspected allergy. Care should be taken to diagnose CMPA adequately to avoid an unnecessary diet.
Data sources: We make recommendations based on systematic literature searches using the best-available evidence from PubMed, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, and bibliographies.
Results: Skin prick tests, patch tests and serum specific IgE are only indicative of CMPA. Breastfed infants have a decreased risk of developing CMPA; an elimination diet for the mother is indicated if CMPA is confirmed. If a food challenge is positive in formula fed infants, an extensively hydrolysed formula and cow's milk-free diet is recommended. If symptoms do not improve, an amino acid based formula should be considered. In severe CMPA with life-threatening symptoms, an amino-acid formula is recommended.
Conclusions: Elimination diet by a double-blind placebo controlled food challenge is the gold standard for diagnosis. Elimination of the offending allergen from the infants' diet is the main treatment principle.
Key words: amino acid formula; cow's milk protein allergy; extensive hydrolysate; partial hydrolysate; soy formula
World J Pediatr 2012;8(1):19-24